In 2016 I wanted to take on a 100-day blogging project and decided I’d do a top 100 list of my favorite albums, at the time. Looking over the list, it’s a good point-in-time snapshot, but a lot has changed in seven years or so.
I think, musically, I was stuck in something of a rut in 2016. I was still listening to a lot of the same music I listened to in college and even high school. Which is fine but I had really limited exposure to different types of music growing up. Now? If you do some digging, you’ll find a ton of great stuff.
And, since 2016, I’ve changed a lot as well. I started the project before I even started dating Meg, much less before I was married. I’ve made new friends, lost a few as well as my father, and much more.
Criteria and ground rules
As I wrote the first time around, this isn’t what I’m claiming are the best albums of all time. This is more my “desert island discs” list, the albums that I’d take with me if I could only grab 100 CDs and would be limited to those from then on. Objectively (for example) Kamasi Washington’s The Epic is a better album than several on this list. But it’s not a disc that I have in heavy rotation. I also don’t have a huge emotional attachment to it, as good as it is.
So if you’re reading this and thinking “good grief, there are so many albums better than that, I won’t argue. And being dropped from the list doesn’t mean I stopped enjoying the album. It means it’s been bumped out of the top 100, that’s all.
I’m still sticking with no more than 3 albums from any given band. (But solo albums don’t count, so a Paul McCartney record doesn’t count against The Beatles.) Compilations are fair game.
The 24 albums that didn’t make the cut
Over the next few weeks I’m going to blog about the new albums on the list, and then a final ranking after that. Here’s what didn’t make the cut, in no particular order:
- Bachelor No. 2 – Aimee Mann
- I’m Your Man – Leonard Cohen
- Tommy – The Who
- God Shuffled His Feet – Crash Test Dummies
- The Singles 81-85 – Duran Duran
- Apostrophe – Frank Zappa
- Copper Blue – Sugar
- Essential Johnny Cash – Johnny Cash
- The Depths of a Year – Ehren Starks
- Weight – Rollins Band
- Puzzle – Dada
- Wings Over America – Wings
- Staring at the Sea / Standing on the Beach – The Cure
- Your Arsenal – Morrissey
- Best O’Boingo – Oingo Boingo
- Free – Concrete Blonde
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack – Cast
- The Sound of Jacqueline Du Pre – Jacqueline Du Pre
- OK Computer – Radiohead
- Vs. – Pearl Jam
- Red Sails in the Sunset – Midnight Oil
- Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet
- Rust Never Sleeps – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
- Waxworks / Beeswax – XTC
Classic rock and 90s albums took a big hit in the top 100. No spoilers, but a few of the albums were pushed out by new releases from the same artists since 2016. Mostly I’ve found that I spend less time listening to this batch of albums and more time exploring new music and some new favorites.
Tomorrow I’ll write up the first of the new batch. Hint: it’s a band I hadn’t even heard of in 2016 and they’ve gotten widespread attention since, including some inclusion in television soundtracks.